Winners & Losers

A young businessman explained that to be a winner you need one of three qualities. You either had to have 1) intelligence, 2) good looks, or 3) wealth. Everybody who had at least one of these three qualities was a winner, and everybody else was a loser. Since he was a vice-president of an up and coming company and good-looking I suppose he classified himself as a winner.

I was startled at first by his declaration. As a Christian I think that many of the 'Winners' in this life will find themselves great losers when it comes to God. Here are three so-called 'winners' that will find themselves great 'Losers'. 1) Herodias' daughter was very beautiful (Matthew 14:6-11). When she danced before the king, he was so won over by her that he promised to give her anything she asked even half of his kingdom. She asked him to give her the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter which request the king granted. She will pay for this evil act in hell even though she had irresistible beauty. Was she a winner? 2) There was a rich man in Luke 16:19 who fared sumptuously every day. He didn't pay much attention to the suffering humanity around him. When he died, he lifted up his eyes in torment in hell and begged for a drop of water, which was refused. Could he be classified as a winner? 3) Once there was a man who because of his intelligence was a  capable administrator in Rome's government. His name was Pontius Pilate. When the Lord Jesus was brought before him. He made the philosophic statement (John 18:38), 'What is truth'? but yet he condemned the Lord Jesus Christ to death. He knew the Man he condemned was innocent. What will this man, who was so intelligent, have to say for himself when the 'dead great and small, stand before God' (Revelation 20:12) to be judged according to their works. He will be speechless while he is sentenced to the Lake of Fire. Was he a winner?

I thought about this man's list of qualities that separates winners from losers. If you add a different twist to them what he said is very true. The world is divided up into winners, all those who are saved, and losers, all those who reject Christ. The winners are not winners because of anything they have done but because the grace of God has enabled them to share in the victory that the Lord Jesus won on the cross. The losers are those who decide to stay apart from Christ.

The man had three criteria from which to distinguish the two groups. Let's look at them from a Christian perspective. 1) Intelligence. In order to get saved you need to have certain intelligence. You need to know something. What do you need to know? You need to know that you are a lost sinner without a thread of hope of ever doing anything to save yourself. You need to know that you would be lost in sin and lost in hell forever, unless the love of God reaches out to people who don't deserve it. You need to know that Christ Jesus came to save such undeserving sinners.  2) Good Looks. Everybody who has come to Christ has had his or her sins washed away by his precious blood He shed on Calvary. They also have a new life within them because they have been 'born again' (John 3:3). God sees every believer as 'in Christ'.  'In sin' describes the best of men outside of Christ. Having your sins forgiven and a new life in Christ is true beauty in the sight of God. 3) Wealth. What would it mean to you to know that for all eternity you would be extremely happy in the presence of the one who loved you so much that he died for you? What would it mean to you to know that there would never be the slightest disturbance of this peace and joy? Truly knowing these things is wealth indeed.

Oh won't you leave the foolish ways of this world behind and come to the Savior who loves you? Coming to him is as simple as bowing your heart in prayer and telling him you are a sinner who wants to be saved.

At the cross where the Lord Jesus Christ seemed to be beaten down and defeated, in truth He won a great victory over sin and death. So great was this victory that the most unworthy, least deserving and vilest sinner can be saved if he or she believes on him. What you do with the Lord Jesus Christ will determine if you will be a 'winner' or 'loser' for all eternity. What will you do with him?

He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved..." Acts 16:30-31 (NIV)